Tulsa Police Defend Photo Of Officer With Rifle
Photo Courtesy: Tulsa Police Facebook
You would have thought you were in Oregon when citizens were told they had to pump their own gas but you were in the middle of the heartland, the most conservative state in the country, and some people lost their minds when the Tulsa Police Department posted a photo of a police officer keeping watch over an Active Shooter Call at a local hospital on Wednesday night.
The photo shows an officer looking through the scope of a rifle and it was posted to the department’s Facebook and Twitter accounts from the scene where an armed man was making suicidal threats near the emergency room at Saint Francis on Wednesday evening. Other photos were also posted in separate posts, including one that showed negotiators talking with the man by phone.
Most of the online comments were in favor of the photo and the department but a few disapproved.
“I’m a big supporter of the police. The use of this photo was in poor taste,” said one commentator.
“This person (suspect) is sick and so is this post,” said another citizen on Facebook.
Some mocked those that critiqued the picture.
“Maybe the officer should have been armed with a unicorn and a lucky troll,” said one person.
The department addressed the feedback in a follow-up Facebook post.
“Please remember that every situation is one that is rapidly changing and we have many officers doing a myriad of tasks … to bring the situation to a peaceful resolution,” the department said in the post. “Try not to take one photo out of context and assume that it is the defining statement from the department on how we are handling a situation.”
The post stated that anytime someone is armed, the situation is potentially dangerous.
This incident comes at a time when the agency has recently placed a renewed emphasis on community relations and communication to the public.
Communications Sergeant Richard Meulenberg posted the photo to the various social media networks and he told the Tulsa World that he wants to give the public a “unique” insight into policing.